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COE Virtual Lab

The College of Engineering is proud to present the COE Virtual Lab! These virtual computers will allow you to access to software, and processing power equal to or greater than what is available on a University-standard PC, from any computer with a network connection.

  • Performance on Virtual Lab computers is based on the available resources from the COE host servers, rather than the local computer. This allows any computer, from a 6 year old laptop to a brand new desktop (assuming both have internet access), to get the same high quality experience and access to software provided by the College of Engineering.
  • Access to COE licensed software is no longer limited to certain labs. Using the Virtual Lab, anywhere you can get internet, you can work on your projects.

For your first session, connect to the VPN, then go to: https://vlab.coe.neu.edu

  • If you are on a Windows device, we highly recommend you follow the instructions below to install; do NOT use the Windows App Store installation, as it does not include all the relevant features!

NOTE: You must use the Northeastern University VPN if you are off-campus!

VMWare Horizon Client

The Horizon Client is used to connect to the COE Virtual Lab.

  1. If you are off-campus, connect to Northeastern's VPN (see the links above!); if you are on-campus, go to the next step.
  2. Open your web browser and go to: https://vlab.coe.neu.edu
  3. Follow the downloads link, then select the appropriate installation file for your computer.
  4. Find the downloaded file on your computer, and run it with administrative privileges. Follow the on-screen instructions; there is no need to change any of the default settings.
  5. Click on the shortcut located on your desktop to run the client.
  6. Click on the "New Server" button in the top left corner, and add vlab.coe.neu.edu to your list of available servers.
  7. Double-click the labeled button for the vlab.coe.neu.edu server to create a popup concerning terms and conditions of use; accept these to continue.
  8. Enter your COE username and password in the appropriate fields in the new window. Do NOT modify the third field.
    1. Enter only your COE username. NOT your email address and NOT your Husky account!
    2. Can't log in? Try entering WINCOE\username. If that fixes the problem, you need to update the VMware Horizon Client software on your PC.
  9. The resulting window will show one or more pools of computers your account can access. Select one by double-clicking.
  • After your first successful login, future sessions may begin by opening your client, then skipping to step #7.

Getting connected and staying connected

  • If you are off-campus, you will need to connect to Northeastern's VPN in order to log in to the COE Virtual Lab.
  • If you leave a virtual computer idle for too long, your sessions will be automatically terminated; see the section below concerning saving your work.
  • If you are unexpectedly disconnected from your virtual computer (e.g. loss of wireless internet access, your local computer is forced to reboot), your session will NOT be immediately terminated. If you reconnect within a few minutes, you will resume your session on the same virtual computer.

Microsoft Office 365

  • Starting in Summer 2019, Northeastern's contract with Microsoft has changed how students will access Office products in COE's Virtual Lab. Follow these steps to make sure you can fully utilize the available software:
  1. When you launch a Microsoft Office 365 product (Word/Excel/Powerpoint/etc.)for the first time in our virtual lab, you will be prompted with a sign-in screen.
  2. Click Sign In to get a pop-up window titled Activate Office
  3. Enter your (myNEU username)@northeastern.edu and click Next
  4. You should see a Windows Security prompt, "Connecting to sts.northeastern.edu."
  5. User name field = NUNET\(myNEU username) ... Password = (your account password) ... Mark the "Remember my credentials" checkbox.
  6. Verify you have successfully authenticated by clicking Account from the list in the left tab. You should see your name, email address, and Connected Services have the right information.
  7. This process creates a token in your COE Home Directory. As long as the token is present, you will not have to repeat this process on any COE Virtual Lab computer for 30 days.

Saving your work

  • Be sure to save your files to your Desktop or My Documents folders, or to your Z: (cifs.homedir) drive. Files saved to the local hard drives of any virtual computers will be lost when you log out.
    • There is a 5 Gb quota for your Z: (cifs.homedir) drive!
    • Click here for information on how to check and manage your disk quota.
    • If you log into a lab computer and cannot save to your Z: (cifs.homedir) drive, please check your quota usage. Contact us by email at help@coe.neu.edu for further assistance.
  • You can access USB devices plugged into your local computer through the Virtual Lab environment.
    • If you need more room, save some files to a USB thumb drive.
  • You can upload files to network facilities such as OneDrive or Google Drive
    • Use a web browser to upload files to network repositories.

Multiple Monitors

  • Currently the virtual lab does NOT fully support the use of multiple monitors for all clients.
  • For best results, if you have any problems with the default display settings for multiple monitors, it is recommended to change the defaults to limit the virtual lab display to a single window, so that your other monitor is usable.
    • To achieve this, you need to adjust settings on your VMware Horizon Client
      1. Log into vlab.coe.neu.edu, but do NOT select a pool yet.
      2. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner to open the settings menu.
      3. Display adjustments are set per pool, so you need to adjust each individually; select a pool from the left column.
      4. Change the Display drop-down menu from "All monitors" to "Window - Large" or "Full Screen".
      5. Make sure that the checkbox for "Allow display scaling" is marked.
      6. Repeat for any other pools you might log into, then click OK to save your changes.
  • If the above solution is insufficient, and you feel you need multiple monitors available within the virtual lab environment, please send email to help@coe.neu.edu to setup an appointment to discuss the issue with our staff.


  • The Virtual Lab includes access to the NUNET PaperCut print queues.
    • Once you log in, run the batch file on your desktop, labeled Add_PaperCut_Printers
    • After the file executes, functionality is identical to any public lab on campus.
  • Printers available by USB on your local computer are also accessible from sessions in the Virtual Lab.
  • If you have key-card access to the CEE Design Studio, you will see additional print queues for the printers and plotters in that lab.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I see a list of software available in the Virtual Lab?
  • I don't yet have a COE account, how can I get one?
    • Click here to apply for an account on the COE system. Accounts are available to current COE students, faculty, and staff.
  • Can I copy and paste from my virtual computer to my local computer or vice versa?
    • You can copy and paste plain text or picture files in either direction.
  • How do I request software be added to the Virtual Lab environment?
    • Only faculty and staff members can request software changes; they can do so by sending email to help@coe.neu.edu including the package name and version, authorization from the software vendor for use in a virtual environment, and a link to the download site for the application installed. Please allow a minimum of 3 weeks from the time of request before you need access to the software in the Virtual Lab environment.
  • What devices can I use to connect?
    • You can run the VMware Horizon Client on Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, or Linux.
  • I am off campus and not able to connect, what do I need to do?
    • Make sure you are logged into the Northeastern University VPN with your University ITS credentials BEFORE you attempt to log into the Virtual Lab Environment with your COE credentials.
  • The answer to my question is not on this page!
    • For help with VLAB and other COE computer services, send email to help@coe.neu.edu.
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